Discuss, from a functionalist perspective, how schools transmit norms and values to learners. Provide a school -based example of this transmission
For the Functionalists, education performs a positive function for all individuals in society and has a powerful influence over it. The education system serves the needs of an industrial society by providing a more advanced division of labour; socialising new generations into societies shared norms and values and, according to meritocratic criteria, allocates roles in. Education supposedly meets societies through three related economic roles; socialization; allocation and vocational training.
Durkheim and Parsons (1956-9) stated that the education system involves the transmission of socially agreed norms and values, known as the ‘Value Consensus’, to future generations. This was done through both the ‘formal’ curriculum and the ‘hidden’ curriculum, and its economic role is referred to as socialization or social control.
Functionalist theorists believe that this internalisation of norms and values results in social cohesion and stability, as well as ensuring a continuity and order in society. Through the socialization of future generations they claim that the needs of society are meet, thus the installation of, what are seen to be, socially agreed shared norms and values into youths results in a future respect for authority and conformity to societies rules, amongst other things. Therefore, this will, in theory, lead to social harmony, stability and social integration.
In an example in schools, students are subjected to strict timetable that they should adhere without failure. The strict adherence to the time instills in them discipline which is very necessary in societal growth.
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